Jane Round is an Omaha Fashion Week veteran, who has been participating in OFW since 2009. Read about her experiences and the brand she has created as we begin profiling the designers you will be seeing on the runway this August.
How did you get into fashion? Tell me a little about your background.
I began designing and creating clothing at a very young age. I have always been drawn to the process of creating something both beautiful and functional that can become a fully integrated part of someone's life. I first began participating in Omaha Fashion Week in 2009 and since then have been selling my collections and working with individuals to create custom designs to fit their exact needs. I moved to New York in 2012 to study fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and since then have been working in various roles within the fashion industry, while maintaining my independent brand.
Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey.
Jane Round is a line of creative separates and everyday dresses, with an emphasis on building sustainable practices within the fashion industry. Each collection consists of pieces with versatile silhouettes, made from silk, cotton, and wool textiles. I dye all of my fabrics and yarns by hand in a variety of seasonless neutrals and playful colors. I also create whimsical signature prints for each collection, which I execute by hand through various hand printing and stamping methods.
What are your goals for your brand?
I want to grow my brand within the next year with more sales directly to customers and by forming relationships with independent retailers who will carry curated selections of my collection for their own customers. I also want to maintain sustainability through that growth by creating a small batch production system and developing products that reduce textile waste. I am also working towards creating capsules of accessories and limited edition, small batch products that will be more accessible to customers.
Describe your favorite project or projects that you have worked on.
A favorite recent project was my SS17 sweater capsule. That season I acquired a vintage knitting machine, which I used to design and create three sweaters. It was my first foray into full-fashioned knitwear and it was an incredibly gratifying experience to create full garments from skeins of yarn, which I had dyed.
After presenting my full SS17 collection at Omaha Fashion Week I received a wonderful response from customers about the sweater capsule. I got several orders for the sweaters I had dyed using a multicolor method and I began the process of repeating the dyeing process as closely as I could and attempting to get the same desired results. I learned a lot during that time about how important and difficult it is to repeat results in textile design and have since been incorporating creative sweaters into each of my collections.
Tell me about the overarching ideas of your brand.
I design each piece around the idea that true luxury is a combination of practicality and beauty. I dye and print all of my textiles by hand and use only natural fibers. I use small batch production to insure that the process is as ethical and sustainable as possible.
What signature styles or silhouettes do you feature in your line?
I focus on creating easy and wearable styles and silhouettes that customers can mix and match and seamlessly incorporate into their own wardrobe. I ground novelty silk blouses and cotton shirts with basic pull on bottoms. Novelty printed skirts are styled back to basic silk shells or knits. Basic silk shells can also be paired back to basic bottoms made from matching textiles to create the illusion of a jumpsuit or dress.
How do you balance creativity and consistency in your work?
Walking the fine line between creativity and consistency is difficult. I try to do so by finding shapes and materials that work for me and reimagine them with new colors and prints every season. In addition to the basic silhouettes that make up my collections I also incorporate new novelty silhouettes and design details that are unique to a particular collection. It’s also important for me to consider my past work while planning for a new collection, because I want my customers to be able to incorporate pieces from my different collections into cohesively styled concepts. Part of sustainability is doing away with the notion of only wearing clothing for a single season. By making clothing that is timeless, instead of trendy, I hope to make customers think about how they bring creativity through their own personal styling choices.
What inspired your new collection and how are you interpreting that inspiration for your specific product categories?
My new collection is inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and the personal aesthetic that she developed throughout her life. In learning about her and her own wardrobe she seemed to be an early adopter of what we now call the capsule wardrobe and it felt very much in line with how I want to structure my collections. That in combination with her use of color and shape within her own work inspired the colors and patterns in this collection.